How many times have you popped avocados in your trolley thinking – naively – that you can have avocado on toast when you get home, only to unpack your shopping to find the fruit isn’t as soft and tender as you’d remembered.
Instead you put them to one side and wait a few days only to discover that while your back was turned they’ve gone to mush.
Then there are the crafty avocados which feel ready to eat but when you cut them open, their flesh is rock solid.
Apparently, there are three ways of ripening avocadoes on demand. We tried all three, and here are the results…
1. Bake it in an oven
What to do: Tightly wrap the avocado in tinfoil, put in a baking dish and pop into an oven on 120C. After around 10 minutes, check its progress by stabbing it with a fork.
Why it might work: Because avocados release ethylene gas, wrapping the it tightly essentially surrounds the avocado in its own ethylene gas, speeding up the ripening process.
Does it work? The jury’s out.
2. Pop it in a paper bag with a banana
What to do: Get a brown paper bag, add one banana and your chosen rock-hard avocado, screw up the top and leave.
Why it might work: The paper bag traps the ethylene gas that's produced by the avocado during the ripening process. If you put your avocado in with another fruit that gives off the gas, such as a banana, it'll ripen even quicker
Does it work? Resounding success – though you must be a little patient as it does take a day or two.
3. Use an avocado sock
What to do: Buy an Avocado Sock (yes, really) and put an unripe avocado in it – it should ripen within 24 hours.
Why it might work: The natural lanolin and warmth of the wool speeds up the ripening process, and because it wraps snugly round the fruit, it ripens avocados evenly, gently and faster than a paper bag.
Does it work? The jury’s out! These are a new-fangled invention… but given the theory behind it, it sounds like it should work.
From all these tried and tested ways to ripen a stubborn avocado, it seems the secret ingredient is the avocado’s very own gas. Contain that and – holy guacamole! - you’re onto a winner.